Annual Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 and China
His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Asim, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Maldives
22 September 2017
Mr. Chairman, Excellences, Distinguished Delegates,
Let me take this opportunity to extend, on behalf of the Government of Maldives, our sincere appreciation to Ecuador, and the very capable team here in New York, led by Ambassador H.E. Mr. Diego Fernando Morejón Pazmiño, for their diligent and hard work throughout the year. We would also like to congratulate the incoming Chair, [Egypt], on being selected to lead the Group in the coming year. The Maldives commits its full support to the Chair in promoting the interests of developing countries.
The strength of this Group is unity in diversity. More than five decades ago, developing economies of the world joined hands and formed the G77 to transform an international economic system that was riddled with inequalities. Since then we have diverged and are fighting these inequalities in trade, technology transfer, finance to name a few.
The solidarity offered by this Group is invaluable to small states like the Maldives. Together we have made significant strides throughout the negotiation for the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development, Addis Ababa Action Agenda, Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction. This does not mean that our work shall halt here, we need to be ever vigilant and watchful to ensure that the commitments made in these documents are honored. The difficult part is implementing what we have agreed to.
We have also demonstrated our unity throughout new and emerging issues such as the Oceans Conference, and the ongoing negotiations for the international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.
So, let us keep fighting. Let us keep on striving together and be mindful that true development is the development that can be enjoyed for generations to come. Instead of exploiting the resources let us explore new ways to utilize our resources that would steer us in the right direction in sustainable manner. Let us align our development plans with the 2030 Agenda and focus on making the world better.
As part of a Group that prides itself in diversity, the Maldives cannot stand by and watch any minorities get marginalized and prosecuted. In this regard, the Maldives condemns in the strongest terms the atrocities taking place in the Northern Rakhine State in Myanmar. We call on the Government of Myanmar to bring an end to the atrocities. We also call on the international community to hold the perpetrators of these actions accountable.
The Maldives has always been a strong advocate for finding peaceful solutions to situations of violence and conflict, building a culture that sustains this peace, and finding solutions which do not involve the use of force. We believe these are all principles which should be incorporated into both traditional and non-traditional threats in addressing international peace and security. With the interest of advancing these views, the Maldives has presented its candidature to the UN Security Council from 2019-2020. As a small state, presenting its candidature for the first time with strong belief in the system of equal opportunity, we hope to receive your support.
The Maldives is ready to do everything in its power to make our journey to a fully sustained and peaceful world down a shorter path. We need to be focused in maintaining our efforts in reaching our goals. We may have only climbed a few steps and we have several more to go. We as a Group must remain united, as our unity is our strength. Together we raise the voice of the voiceless and the marginalized. Every day we distract ourselves from the big picture by looking inwards, is truly a day lost in vain.